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M&A Journal: Pandemic Mayhem

August 01, 2020

O’Melveny partner Toby Knapp participated in a Q&A series exploring the pandemic’s impact on M&A.

“It’s definitely not the case that everything has come to a halt during the pandemic,” said Knapp, who leads O’Melveny’s US Mergers and Acquisitions and Private Equity Practice. “For public deals, it has been easier for all-stock deals, where you’ve got equity markets affecting the pricing for both sides of a transaction. We were able to follow through and close a deal that had its center of gravity in China, which was wonderful. We advised a US technology client that divested manufacturing facilities in China to a Chinese consortium acquiror. That deal actually was an example of addressing the outbreak much earlier than when it became a real issue in the US.”

“For many clients it has been a matter of changing priorities, which only makes sense,” Knapp added. “A lot of what we do as lawyers is to help clients navigate the economic, business and regulatory landscapes as they change. When there is a shock as great as this, those changes can be dramatic, and that is where we do our best work.”